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Salli Setta, president and chief concept officer, Red Lobster
Salli Setta has been a part of the Red Lobster team since 2005, when she started as executive vice president of marketing. In 2013, Setta was named president of the former Darden Restaurants casual-dining brand — now owned by Golden Gate Capital — and has helped to refresh and revitalize Red Lobster’s menu and commitment to sustainability. In March 2018, Setta was additionally named chief concept officer.
Known for: In 2014 under Setta’s leadership, Red Lobster made the transition from publicly traded to private-equity-owned company after the 50-year-old brand was sold to Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion. Since then, she has revitalized the brand with the introduction of the My Lobster Rewards program in October 2017 and menu upgrades that tapped into the culinary zeitgeist like a new $4.99 small plates menu and lobster and waffles.
Power move: In January 2018, the brand announced its new Seafood With Standards commitment to sustainable seafood. With Setta at the helm, Red Lobster partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and World Wildlife Fund to promote sourcing transparency, animal welfare and sustain- ability education. In October 2018, Red Lobster also became the first large casual-dining restaurant chain to announce a plastic straw replacement program, which is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
What’s next: Besides continuing to focus on the brand’s renewed commitment to corporate social responsibility with an expansion of the Seafood With Standards program, Setta plans to focus on growing off-premise sales, exploring further menu innovation and growing new domestic units.